Resources For Individuals With Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

Resources for Individuals with Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

This webpage provides information to assist providers and families of individuals with a developmental disability and mental health needs.

From the Office of the Medical Director’s REVISED parameter no. 4.18:

State of California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) states that developmental disabilities “include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and related conditions. Services are provided through state-operated developmental centers and community facilities, and contracts with 21 non-profit regional centers.” Reference 1.

These disabilities typically have a high rate of co-occurring mental health issues, some of which require specialty mental health services. For example, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, the prevalence of mental disorders in people with intellectual disabilities is three to four times higher than individuals in the general population. In addition many individuals with co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will meet the diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders. For example, 70% of youth with ASD meet criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder, and 40 % meet criteria for two or more disorders. Reference 2, 3.

The Diagnostic Manual – Intellectual Disability (DM-ID 2) provides clinical guidelines and adaptations of mental health disorder diagnostic criteria for persons with intellectual disabilities. ICD-10 may further inform descriptive and diagnostic practices. Reference 4, 5.

Mental health services for individuals with co-occurring developmental disabilities can effectively treat these individuals’ mental health problems and also help them develop and sustain healthy meaningful relationships and achieve their personal goals. In order to achieve this outcome, mental health services should be sufficiently funded to appropriately assess and treat individuals with developmental disabilities.

County Policy

Regional Centers

Many individuals with developmental disabilities are eligible for Regional Center services. Each Regional Center is a nonprofit, private corporation that contracts with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to coordinate or provide community support, resources and access to services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. There are 21 Regional Centers throughout California, seven of which are in Los Angeles County.

Contacts/Interagency Networking

Los Angeles County Regional Center Calendars of Events/Training

Strategies for providing EBP therapies for the DD/MH population

State Policy

Trainings from the Web


Probation Coordinators for Developmentally Disabled Minors

Regional Center Jail Liaison


Mental Health Program/Services

Find the LA County Department of Mental Health services, programs and facilities serving your area.

Service Planning Area Map
Service Planning
Areas Map

Related Information

DMH Service Locator

Partners in Suicide Prevention Program (PSP)

Crisis Line
County Crisis Line

Didi Hirsch

Trevor Project (LGBTQ)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
For Military Families, Press 1 for Crisis Line

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Office of Client-Peer Relations
695 S. Vermont Avenue, 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 251-6508